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The importance of 'inner values' -- female sparrows test the genetic make-up of their mates
Date:5/27/2011

th high individual MHC diversities. However, they did find that females with a low number of MHC alleles were most attracted to males carrying a high number of such alleles. This result suggests that the birds have a mechanism for "counting" the number of MHC alleles on offer from individual males.

The work represents the first experimental evidence that birds' mating preferences are influenced by the genes of the major histocompatibility complex. As Hoi says, "our findings show that birds do not simply select the 'most attractive' partner but instead choose ones with which they are most compatible. Like humans, then, birds seem to pay attention to the 'inner values' of their potential partners."


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Contact: Dr. Herbert Hoi
herbert.hoi@vetmeduni.ac.at
43-664-964-9703
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
Source:Eurekalert

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